Thursday 19 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/13)
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - A court in Ivory Coast on Wednesday sentenced 15 former top cocoa sector officials to up to 20 years in prison for corruption under ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, in a bid to clean up the industry in the world's top cocoa grower. The defendants, popularly known in Ivory Coast as the 'cocoa barons', included the former head of the state's Fund for the Development and Promotion of Coffee and Cocoa Planters (FDPCC), Henry Kassi Amouzou. He was convicted on Wednesday alongside the former heads of Ivory Coast's main cocoa regulators - the Coffee and Cocoa Board (BCC), the Fund for Regulation and Control (FRC), and the Authority for the Regulation of Coffee and Cocoa (ARCC). In total, 14...
(BBC News Africa 11/08/13)
The EU's top court has ruled that homosexuals from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal who fear imprisonment in their home country have grounds for asylum in EU member states. The Netherlands had asked the court for advice about three gay citizens of those countries seeking asylum. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) says asylum can be granted in cases where people are actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country. ECJ rulings apply to all EU members. Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana. In June a report by Amnesty International said homophobic attacks had reached dangerous levels in sub-Saharan Africa and must stop. The ECJ judgment on...
(CNN 11/08/13)
(CNN) -- Next time you chum up to a stranger on social media before traveling to their homeland, consider the ordeal of Australian Steve Sparks. As reported by ABC, the Darwin resident says he was kidnapped and held for six weeks while vacationing in the African nation of Senegal. While being held against his will, Sparks' abductors emptied his bank account. Sparks, who was released about two weeks ago, but who has only recently returned home, "says his mistake was meeting up with a man he had met on social media." After meeting the social media contact, Sparks says he was kidnapped, forced to give up his bank account details and held in a bedroom for six weeks. He says...
(Dw-World 11/08/13)
Most German entrepreneurs shy away from investing in southern Africa and bilateral trade is relatively low. A business lobby group wants to reverse this trend. The Togolese ambassador to Germany, Comla Paka, has expressed his country's desire for international investors. The small West African country on the Atlantic Ocean has a lot to catch up with in terms of investment. "We need investment in infrastructure, our roads and ports," said Paka. Traditionally Togo enjoys good relations with Germany, but economic cooperation between the two is still rare, the ambassador said. “Many African countries find access to European markets very difficult and in the end prefer to do business with countries like China and India," he added. Africa's economy is growing...
(BBC News Africa 11/07/13)
A court in Ivory Coast has sentenced 15 former top officials to 20 years each in prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the cocoa and coffee industry. The 15, popularly known as "cocoa barons", were also ordered to pay fines worth $138m (£86m). They were convicted of embezzling tax revenues during the rule of former President Laurent Gbagbo. Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa. At least 13 others were acquitted at the trial in the main city of Abidjan. The accused were arrested in 2008 after Mr Gbagbo ordered the investigation into allegations of widespread corruption in the coffee and cocoa sectors. Mr Gbagbo disputed the result of elections in November 2010, which the...
(The Guardian 11/07/13)
Ghana is a country of technological contradictions. In many schools, IT is taught in classrooms with no electricity yet mobile penetration exceeds 100%. Tech start-ups are using the challenges and opportunities as a spring board and achieving way beyond expectation. In East Legon, a smart suburb of Ghana's capital, Accra, two men and a woman in their 20s stand in front of a slick ad featuring a large plane in mid-flight. They are pitching a business idea for a website that would allow travellers to compare ticket prices, then book and pay for airline tickets on domestic flights. The pitch has sparked a lively debate among the pupils who sit in a darkened classroom, with the words "generosity, positivity, standards"...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/13)
ABIDJAN, November 6, 2013 (AFP) - Fourteen former bosses of Ivory Coast's cocoa sector -- the world's number one producer -- have been sentenced to 20 years in prison in a major embezzlement case, according to the Abidjan court's ruling seen by AFP. Another 13 managers were acquitted in the case involving hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) embezzled between 2002 and 2008. Despite the conviction, the 14 have not been jailed as the prosecutor has not made a formal request for their detention, said Emmanuel Yao, the lawyer representing one of the accused. The fact that it was unclear when they would begin serving their sentence "shows simply that justice is uneasy" and that "the trial is political", said...
(Punch 11/06/13)
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Monday that the N1.4tn spent by the Federal Government on subsidy covered only petrol because no provision was made for subsidy payment on kerosene. Okonjo-Iweala, who appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance, said questions relating to kerosene subsidy should be directed at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Records show that N1.4tn has so far been paid to oil marketers as subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit. Meanwhile, the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service, Mr. Abdulahi Dikko, has said the service incurred revenue loss of N603.2bn between January and September this year. He stated this on Monday, when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation. Dikko...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/13)
LONDON | Wed Nov 6, 2013 (Reuters) - Three years ago, a trip to the Southern Kenya production facilities of Canadian company Africa Oil attracted only seven potential investors. Two months ago, 60 boarded the flight. The investor trip, described by sales staff at Citi following a recent client conference, is just one illustration of the swelling interest in the most esoteric frontier markets. In a world of low yields and paltry growth, the attraction of frontier markets - the lesser developed emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America - is pretty clear. Juicy returns, often huge natural resources and young populations provide a stark contrast to the ageing economic profile in the West. "Everyone...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/13)
WASHINGTON | (Reuters) - A former Deutsche Bank unit will pay $12.1 million to harmed borrowers in order to resolve allegations that it discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers seeking mortgage loans, the U.S. housing regulator said on Tuesday. MortgageIT, which was an indirect subsidiary of the German bank, charged higher rates and fees to minority borrowers and denied their loan applications more often than comparable white borrowers, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said. The money will be used to compensate borrowers who were unfairly denied a loan or whose loans violated fair lending laws, the agency said. "It's creditworthiness and ability to pay that matter when you apply for a loan, not your race or where you...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/05/13)
PRETORIA | Tue Nov 5, 2013 (Reuters) - African leaders told Congo's M23 rebels on Tuesday they must publicly declare an end to their 20-month insurgency to allow the signing of a peace agreement with President Joseph Kabila's government. The recommendation was made by heads of state from southern Africa and the Great Lakes region who met through Monday night in the South African capital Pretoria to lend their weight to an international push to end the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite growing calls for peace, the M23 rebels and government forces were involved in artillery clashes on Monday near Congo's border with Uganda. Both sides blamed the other for the shelling. A statement released by the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/05/13)
MBUZI, Democratic Republic of Congo/PRETORIA | (Reuters) - African leaders and international envoys appealed to Congo's government and M23 rebels on Monday to stop fighting and embrace a peace deal after the two sides bombarded each other near the Ugandan border. The appeals were made as United Nations and U.S. envoys said the elements of an accord to end the 20-month insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were broadly agreed and only required public commitments to end the hostilities. A rapid Congolese army advance in recent weeks has driven the M23 rebels from towns and cornered them in the steep, forested hills along the Ugandan border, raising the prospect of peace for Congo's mineral-rich eastern borderlands. But before leaders...
(Voice of America 11/04/13)
Heads of state and governments in both the Southern African and the Great Lakes regions plan to meet in the South African capital, Pretoria, Monday, to review the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The summit is organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). It’s the follow-up to an agreement signed between the two groups last February to find ways of addressing the security challenges within the DRC. “This [summit] is a follow up to ensure that there is a full implementation of this framework [and] to review the implementation process and a way forward,” said Tanki Mothae, SADC’s director of politics, defense and security cooperation...
(The Independent 11/04/13)
We start off this week’s news roundup in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the M23 rebels on Sunday declared a ceasefire in their fight with the army, in a move they hope will advance peace talks with the government, France24 reports. “We call on the facilitator of the Kampala peace talks to immediately put in place a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire,” the rebels said in statement. There was no immediate reaction from the army, which has pushed the rebels from all the towns they once controlled during a 20-month rebellion in North Kivu province. Rebel fighters this week abandoned Bunagana, their last stronghold in the eastern province, and have withdrawn into the hills and forests around Congo’s border...
(BBC News Africa 11/04/13)
A rare solar eclipse allowing a view of the Sun that is totally or partially blocked by the Moon has taken place. It was first visible in the southern United States, before sweeping east across the Atlantic Ocean and the African continent. The US space agency, Nasa, said the greatest total eclipse occurred over the Atlantic Ocean. One of the best views was in northern Kenya, where tour companies organised trips to view a total blackout. Local myths there attribute the event to the Moon eating the Sun. Men and women from the Turkana tribe take part in a ceremony in the Sibiloi national Park in the Turkana region Men and women from the Turkana tribe in Kenya took part...
(AFP 11/03/13)
PARIS, November 3, 2013 (AFP) - President Francois Hollande on Sunday held an emergency meeting on the shock abduction and killing of two French radio journalists by armed men in northern Mali. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira and the head of France's external intelligence services agency Bernard Bajolet attended the hour-long crisis talks with Hollande to try and shed light on the double murder. Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalist Ghislaine Dupont and sound technician Claude Verlon had travelled Saturday to the northern city of Kidal to interview a spokesman for the Tuareg separatist group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and were abducted outside his home, according to their employer. Dupont, 57, and Verlon,...
(Reuters 11/02/13)
UNITED NATIONS, (Reuters) - Rwanda, Togo and Morocco are set to circulate to U.N. Security Council members on Friday a draft resolution to defer the International Criminal Court trials of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for one year. The African Union asked the Security Council last week to postpone the trials of Kenyatta and Ruto so they can deal with the aftermath of the Nairobi mall attack by al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab, in which at least 67 people were killed in September. Kenyatta and Ruto face charges related to the violence after Kenya's 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died. Both deny the charges and have tried to have the cases adjourned or halted. Ruto's...
(The New York Times 11/01/13)
The decomposing bodies of 87 migrants from the impoverished West African nation of Niger were discovered in the Sahara this week just a few miles from a well, apparently stranded after a desperate search for water, said the head of a local humanitarian organization who helped bury many of the bodies. Two trucks carrying the migrants — men, women and children — broke down in the northern desert while trying to reach neighboring Algeria, said Almoustapha Alhacen, speaking by telephone from Arlit, where they started their journey on Sept. 26. Responders, himself included, found groups of corpses — 15 here, 11 there — scattered in a wide radius around a well that the victims had tried to reach. Five other...
(Voice of America 10/31/13)
ABUJA — A surge in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea this year has prompted West African leaders to establish a new working group intended to combine maritime law enforcement efforts. Analysts in Nigeria say security forces already have the capacity to slow the attacks, but lack the political will. In the rivers and creeks of Nigeria's Niger Delta, speedboat drivers say piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has frightened some of their customers away, but they continue to carry oil workers to the high seas. The International Maritime Bureau says West African waters are now among the most dangerous in the world - far more dangerous than the waters off Somalia, where pirates have become less active. A report...
(Sierra Express media 10/31/13)
International football star Yaya Touré today pledged to combat the illegal ivory trade that sees thousands of African elephants slaughtered each year as he was unveiled as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Mr. Touré joins the roster of other Goodwill Ambassadors—Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, US actor Don Cheadle, Chinese actress Li Binging, French photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand and Indian economist Pavan Sukhdev—to help generate public awareness and understanding of environmental causes. Touré, African Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and an inspirational figure for Manchester City and his national side Côte d’Ivoire, travelled to the headquarters of UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya—a country that is facing a massive spike in poaching—to accept his nomination...

Pages